I have been waiting to do this for a really long time. My husband will probably not be as happy as he has been on this 40 acres of desert but I've had a longing to get back to California. Hemet is 1 hour from my son's house, 2 hours from my daughter's and 1.5 from a sister and some other family down in the Santee area which means I'll be close enough for family get-togethers but far enough away that I won't bug everyone to go out for lunch or dinner every week!
I couldn't believe it when my husband told me to actually go looking for houses when I was in California last time and I really couldn't believe it when he asked me if I found one and if so, to put a bid on it! He was going to go look at a couple I liked but got a really bad case of sciatica and hasn't been able to go anywhere for over 10 days now. Because of that, I just got to pick the one I wanted most and we've now got the news our offer was accepted. Geez, I am so excited.
We'll take our time, maybe up to 1 1/2 years to move (although once my husband gets started on something he usually just goes full tilt on it) completely. Maybe the market will start improving where we currently live so we can sell the house we are in okay.
I went out to California for my glaucoma appointment and had laser surgery as the pressure is just not coming down with the drops they have me on. I hope it works and will find out at Christmas time. If not, I'll try giving up coffee and see what happens. The doctor says it doesn't matter about my coffee but my son read about a study showing coffee does affect one type of glaucoma (and I am not sure what type I have) especially among Scandinavian peoples. I come from Norwegian stock and some Irish too (we know how the Norse travelled that area) so who knows, it might affect me. I don't want to give it up yet as I like it and I want to see if the surgery worked. One step at a time! I was also told I have a cloudy build-up on my lenses that replaced my real eye lenses. The doctor was surprised I can see as well as I do so I think some more laser surgery is in my future.
Not much art at all in this post but life is in flux for me as you can see. I could feel my depression lift when I realized my husband was serious about moving. I didn't think I was letting it bother me so much but guess it was.
The page I made here was started as part of a lesson months ago and I didn't know where to go with it after playing with the watercolor and gluing on the butterfly stamping scrap. I wanted to make a page about the new house (which was built in 1976 and so isn't really new at all) and this seemed made for it. So don't ever throw away a page you start but don't finish. You may find a use for it later too!
Finally, I've gotten out a pencil and did a sketch. I think it's been over 3 months since I've drawn anything. I was sick and tired of not doing any drawing at all. Not a fancy page for my journal but a bit of life. It feels good to have laid pencil to paper again.
The only other thing I've been doing lately is knitting on a scrap afghan. I was sick and tired of doing nothing at all so I started one. Sometimes I get a bit down in the dumps. I hope it's going away and I will even want to start putting color on a page!
My daughter was driving her son and four of his friends to a water park by Magic Mountain. It's about 35 miles away and took us an hour to get to because of the traffic. It was a Friday and I guess lots of people were heading north for the weekend. Just a few miles from our exit off of I-5 in Santa Clarita the police shut down the freeway for about 15 minutes because a car had broken down in the fast lane. I don't know why they shut the whole thing down and I sure don't know why they finally opened only one out of four lanes once they reopened it but that's the way this kind of thing happens. At any rate, I was prepared. I had coffee, cookies and my journal! I only got the pencil sketch done before we were moving again but it helped to pass the time. I painted the picture this morning at home.
By the way, I got to go pick up the kids because my daughter had another place to be in the evening. I stopped at Starbuck's to get my granddaughter who was my co-pilot and I a nice cold drink and figured on 70 minutes driving time. It took 76! One way, for the 35 miles! No time for another drawing though as this time it was me who was driving and I might be from California but contrary to public opinion we are not crazy!
I took the liberty of making a purple car versus another gray one! Hope you are getting where you need to this weekend without traffic jams or other problems. Still, if I had my way, I'd be living here and not in Arizona where I don't have any traffic problems since I don't live in the Phoenix area.
As you all know, I am having an extended stay in California. I'm taking advantage of it by trying to do art with my granddaughters. I need to catch up on the classes I am taking and hopefully this week I will be able to do that.
The first two pictures were done because my daughter says the girls should do something while they watch TV. They watch the same shows over and over or at least that's how it seems to me, so it's easy to do something besides just watching it again. I suggested to one (while the other did a puzzle) that she divide a page in fourths and pick four objects in the room to draw. Her sister suggested she draw some items on the fireplace mantel so this is what she did. I gave her a gray Tombow (non-waterproof) pen and she drew straight in ink so she couldn't fiddle around. Afterwards I showed her how to wet it to shade the drawings a bit with the ink that blurs out when wet. I think she did great with her first straight ink drawings. The second picture is from the littler sister who gave it a try the next day and wanted to draw her dog and it's belongings. I am very happy they gave leadfree drawings a try and that they didn't worry about picking "easy" things to draw!
The next two photos are collage pages I helped the girls with while they were at the allergists. After they get their 3 shots each (glad I never had to do that) they have to sit and wait twenty minutes to see if they react badly and its a boring time for them. I grabbed my art kit and they grabbed their journals and I showed them how to make a page to remember a holiday by. It just took some giftwrap leftover from the day and a copy of a photo. A few words and they had a nice addition to their books.
The last picture is a page I made from the sketches (1 min. max each) I did of some handy objects to show them how to draw with the pen and how to shade with the waterbrush. One of the girls used their mother's cricut machine to cut out the daisies for me. I played with watercolor on the page and tried throwing some for blotches. I don't recommend using the water brush for this anymore for two reasons. One, it gets the paint too light colored and two, the force of swinging the brush pulled part of it apart. I was able to put it back together but won't use it again unless that's all I have handy. I adhered the items on backwards from planned. I would normally put something like a shoe on the inside edge of a page so it has some space to "walk off" the page. I'll add a bit of writing when I figure out what to say.... and then I will get to looking at my art lessons.... just as soon as we get back from driving to Oxnard to drop off the ballerina for her dress rehearsal and get lunch and go grocery shopping and....
This is a journal I keep in my purse at all times for the odd moment when I can fit in a sketch.
The pencil drawing was done while at the beach. My son was moving all over the place as he played volleyball. I tried to just catch his pose rather than an exact likeness which I knew would be impossible right from the start. I would wait till he got back in this stance to draw a bit more and would have kept improving on it but the game ended and it was the last game of the weekend.
The second picture was done yesterday. I tagged along when my daughter took the kids to Tilly's where my grandson was looking to buy a couple of shirts. We left with a couple of shirts, a pair of pants, a top for one of the girls and sun glasses for another of the girls and myself! Oh, AND this sketch of one of the display tables. It took me about 10-15 minutes as I really hurried to get done before the family was ready to leave. One of the sales clerks was super nice and asked if I was a professional artist! She was definitely more impressed than my family was. When I got home I added one more layer of color to everything but the hats to help them stand out better and then I took the photo. You can do this too and if you think you can't then perhaps you should take some journaling classes with Laure Ferlita of Imaginarytrips.com as she will teach you how to do it well and fast!
Today I hope to get some class art work done but it looks like we might be very busy again!
I am here in Oceanside, California at my son's house. Yesterday we went down to San Diego's Mission Beach where he plays volleyball on Saturdays. It was gray, breezy and cool but I had a sweatshirt to keep me warm.
I took plenty of photos of my son playing as he likes to look at them to see what he is doing right or wrong but I still took time for myself. I went for a long walk to find some coffee and started with a caramel mocha which was the worst coffee I've ever had so I tossed it out and got a plain cup of coffee at another vendor. Then I walked back down to the volleyball area and sat down with my sketchbook. It didn't take me long to put a few pencil lines down and add some paint especially after seeing my online watercolor teacher Laure Ferlita do a similar picture in class!
This picture was done two days ago as I sat at my son't dining table using my computer and looking out the living room window. I liked seeing the green bushes and the mailbox so did a quick sketch. It's good to leave home sometimes and get a different perspective! This was done with some of the lessons and thoughts behind them that I've gained from Jennifer Edwards on her blog. I didn't draw the houses on the other side of the street as she recommends to draw just what drew you to the scene. Laure says to simplify down to what gives you the essence of the place you are sketching so between the two I've had some good advice to follow.
I've been busy doing mostly art for a couple of classes I am in but I also am drawing some other stuff in my journal. Someday I hope to do some work outside my journal, something I can frame if it comes out nice enough.
I am reading and enjoying the lessons that Jennifer Edwards has been offering on her blog Drawn2Life and the top picture here comes from her lesson #9 which is about letting loose. I don't know if I was all that loose but I did have fun and I made sure the page was done when it was done rather than leave it at a point where I could just use it as a background for something else. I've done that a lot but that wasn't what I understood this lesson to be.
The other pictures were drawn to have the memory of Mother's Day in my journal. This was done on a spread in my large 9"x12" Mixed Media Strathmore journal. I actually used another of Jennifer's lesson with the apple tree which is Lesson #6 which is contour drawing. I started the apple tree straight in pen and just looked and drew from one leaf to the next without worrying about doing each individually. I started at the top and worked down. This was not blind contour and I lifted my pen several times but it was done in the spirit rather than the rule of a contour drawing. I certainly didn't try to get absolutely every leaf into my drawing! Then I added the color and I rather like it! What do you think?
The frog was done in pencil, then inked and finally painted. I lost some of the pure, bright watercolor look when I tried to add a glossy topping to it which is a shame as it was more true to the frog's colors before. It is still the frog though and I am pretty happy with how it turned out overall.
At any rate, this is some of what I have been up to. What have you been up to?
I have been trying to get on blogger all morning! It's now 2:30p.m.! I guess people must be online today sending Mother's Day messages or something. And one of the things I've been trying to do is say HAPPY MOTHER'S DAY to all you mothers out there. Hope you are all having a great day.
I've talked with my daughter who sent me this frog. It's about 10 inches long and made of dichroic glass. I love it. I've been meaning to get something made of this glass for a long time. It's expensive glasss so I've put it off but now I have something made of it and it fits my frog collection! We talked on the phone this morning. My daughter's kids bought her a cotton candy maker - big size - not a toy!
I made myself a burnt sugar cake but I won't torture you with a photo. It sank! I had to make it from scratch as you can't find a mix for this flavor and living in some highish altitude it is really hard to get a cake to come out. Oh well, not pretty but I've had two pieces already (that's all I've eaten today so I am going to need something good for dinner and I just can't think of anything).
The other thing I was going to talk about is that journal you see in the photos. I bought this on Etsy from a fellow online artist and friend Robin Walsh. You can see what others she has here. I liked this one for the variety of page papers and sizes and I do love the fuzzy spine she makes. I've made my first journal entry which you see in the other photo. (I put her card on a hinge made of paper so I can flip it to see her etsy and other addies)! I'm going to have fun using this journal. She sent me another little treat since I was her very first customer. That is the 2" x 4 1/2" accordion fold journal. I am really happy with my purchase. By the way, her journals are all up-cycled from boxes and papers she has although if I remember right, she said she could make some with watercolor paper but this batch of books doesn't have any of that. Take a look as for mixed-media and writing they are great.
Another of my quick little drawings. I was reminded about the Pentel Pocket Brush Pen. I have one but had forgotten about it. I haven't practiced with it enough for it to be natural to use so I just pulled out a scrap of paper (I seem to have scraps everywhere with a note on one, some numbers on others...) and drew one of my pencil jars that was sitting right in front of me. That pencil is not a curved one although it got drawn that way. I have had pencils curl like that here in the desert but not this time but that's our little secret! I added some color. I always figure color will help and it usually does at least, to me.
I decided to keep it; I actually keep almost all my sketches and I adhered it to a prepainted page in a recycled puzzle book I got from my daughter. The cover was too pretty to throw out!
I started this page by sketching the iced-tea glass on some cheap memo paper because I hadn't been drawing anything and felt a lack of it. I did the drawing in probably a minute and didn't like it. So I didn't have anything to lose by adding some watercolor. Still didn't like it but set it aside to dry. In the morning I sort of liked it (isn't that how it goes?) and grabbed another paper scrap, this time a bit of watercolor paper, and drew my little plastic bowl with Dove Chocolate Easter eggs in it. The color really shows differently on this paper doesn't it? So now what to do with these is the question. I threw them in my journal and didn't look at them for a few days. I ate a couple of Dove chocolates and realized the foils I peeled off them could go with the picture. I adhered the two pictures and the foils to the page but it was lacking something. Aha! I dug the Lipton teabag wrapper out of the trash where I'd just thrown it and added that to the page plus some writing. I'm pretty happy about my page and it's truly a bit of my life here. What do you have laying around to draw and add to your journal?
Here is a little something else I have worked on lately. It's not regular drawing or painting but it's still playing with paints so I'll post it here on my art blog anyhow!
When my dad died I took some of the cooking utensils he and my mother had used in their daily life. I've used them often and it keeps their memories close. This potato masher was used so often it only had a bit of the original yellow and black paint on it when I got it. After so many years and a trip through the dishwasher even the last bits of paint disappeared. I decided it wouldn't bother the memories I have on bit by redoing the paint. I didn't even worry about using the same colors. In my mind I can see my dad mashing the potatoes no matter what.
Although for nearly 30 years I've been a yellow and blue person (with mandatory touches of pink, white and green), I've changed over the last few years to liking red and yellow (preferably with touches of blue, green or others) so I painted this to go with my new taste in color. I used acrylic paints to paint it yellow and red with a touch of green. This goes with my kitchen pretty well although there is also a rusty red in the kitchen. (.I've got enough of both now for a thorough blending of the reds). To top it off with a nice shiny, hard finish I used Delta Air-Dry PermEnamel Clear Gloss Glaze which goes on thick and smooths out like glass.
Now I've got Dad's masher to use and to look fun in my kitchen. If Mom's rolling pen ever loses the green paint on the handles, it'll get a new paint job too! I'll never beat what my grandma did to her old aluminum kettle to keep it going though. She lost the knob on the lid so stuck a prune on the screw and let it dry. It's still there (I know because I have the kettle as one of my memory pieces) after more than 50 years!
I've been working. Not finishing much but I guess that doesn't really matter. As Jennifer Edwards, Laure Ferlita and Cathy Johnson keep teaching, we can take the everyday stuff and turn it into journaling, life recording, memory stuff.
I cleaned my bathroom a couple of days ago (you really don't want to know how long it'd been since I'd last done it) and moving all my polishes I thought perhaps the colors should go into my journal. Now that I am typing this, I realize I should have drawn a couple of the bottles too! Maybe I still will. Anyhow, I had a page I didn't care for so put the polishes on that page and with gesso, rubbed out a bit of the center detail on the page so I could write my entry. I think it will be fun to see what colors I choose in another decade!
For my kitty, I saw her just lying on my bed so thought "ah ha, I can sketch her now!" but no, not really. She kept moving and I kept redrawing her ears and then she'd move again. I put down the pen. In a few minutes she started watching my bird so I picked it back up and got a really quick sketch in before she moved again. I added a bit of gouache from a kit. It added a bit to the page but it really isn't opaque enough. I'll have to try my tubes next time.
Then we had a rainy day. I thought I'd try doing a rainy colors page as Jennifer Edwards did once. Well, I like hers! Mine is okay but it will need something added to it to be complete. I'm thinking of a window in black ink, open to the colors of the rain. What do you think?
I was thinking of putting a fairy on my rain page but didn't want to risk ruining it. I guess my journals have different levels of risk. This one is a re-purposed puzzle book from my daughter so I guess I felt "safer" trying it out here. I added the watercolor rain afterwards rather than before so that may have added to the safety net! So now, one rainy day turned into two journal pages!
The last page isn't finished. I'm not quite sure what to do with it. I meant to draw a happy lady but I have trouble doing that. Mostly I get pensive ones! Any suggestions welcome.
Lastly, I want to leave you with two more pictures. These are not done by me. The Easter card is a very thoughtful gift from my blog friend Helena Sullivan. She makes many beautiful cards and I have been lucky to receive a few. This one is stitched with metallic threads that show up so much better in real life. Thanks so much Helena!
This last picture is a watercolor called "Dancing Pears" which I bought from Dabs who drives truck with her husband. She is learning to paint smaller than she used to since they actually LIVE in the truck and there isn't a lot of room! I love the bright colors and the fun of this. It will go perfectly in my kitchen. As soon as I get if framed and on the wall I'll share a picture of that here. I love it Dabs!
Well, this is a long post from me! Hope you are still here and you enjoyed the visit. Till next time....hope you have beautiful spring days!
Happy Easter everyone! I hope you have a wonderful holiday.
I made this picture on a pre-done acrylic background. The drawing was done first in pencil, then pen and watercolor.
I had scanned in this recipe for candy as my daughter wanted me to email it to her. I have made it every year for many Easters but this year I am not with the kids and grandkids so she was thinking of trying it on her own. This recipe tastes just like See's coconut candy for anyone who knows the See's chocolate shop. Yummy. I had no idea I had the recipe but when my daughter wanted coconut eggs and we didn't find any at See's one year I tried to make some for her. What a delight that it turned out to be just the right recipe! So now, even if the book gets lost, I have the recipe here and in my computer.
See's had a contest this year online and the prize was a $50 gift certificate. You just had to tell your See's story so I did. I told them they wouldn't like it too! We still buy plenty of See's candy though and for this year I bought a one-pound gift certificate for the girls and their mother so See's is not suffering any by me making this candy.
My husband and I are spending a quiet weekend here in Arizona. He (and I) got tired of me traveling every month to California last year. This year it'll be every two to three months for the most part. I do miss being with the grandkids on a holiday though. Actually I miss being with them all the time! Being as the youngest is now 11, there aren't too many years before they just don't care about being with Grandma on the holidays. I've got candy and ham for the day and it's supposed to be around 80 degrees so it should be a nice day. Maybe I'll challenge my hubby to a dart game since he loves to be outdoors so much and we'll take advantage of the day being not too hot or too cool!
Jennifer Edwards at Drawn2Life is having mini lessons on drawing. It's about drawing your life and lesson 2 gave us ideas on what we could gather as drawing possibilities. Check out lesson one here and lesson 2 here. You'll see my Easter page fits right in. Whew, I thought it would be harder than that. Maybe on a day to day basis it will be so I have to keep her ideas in mind. Hey! I could make a page listing her ideas so I can remember! You could too!
I was over at Jennifer Edward's blog Drawn2Lifewhere she has started some mini lessons on drawing. Not the technicalities of line but on why or how to do it really. For the first lesson she asked us to draw up a chair and ... well, go to her blog and read it yourself. I can't see repeating it and you should get it straight from her rather than letting me paraphrase and mess up the message. Anyhow, the end result was a challenge to draw some chairs we use. So I drew three of the chairs I use a lot in my home. I just didn't have room for my dining table chair and now that I think of it, the stool I use when doing crosswords with my husband. I have more chairs in my home but these are the ones that don't sit and collect dust! Why don't you draw your chairs but first read what she has to say here.
I used a page with a background treatment I really didn't like. I don't like to tear these out of my journal so I wait and hope something will come up to use it with. For the chairs it seemed to work okay. Drawn in pencil first, I moved on to a fine pen as I didn't think just watercolor would be enough on this background. Then I added the watercolor. I thought about doing colored pencil or gouache but I really love watercolor so used it. This was fun and just what I needed! Oh, the top of the picture got a tad cut off in the scanning. The top of the rocker is actually in my picture.
I'm still out in California! We had a beautiful day yesterday; I even had to take off my sweater! I went with my daughter's family to the California Lutheran University where her two littlest had a job seminar to learn about some types of careers and her oldest daughter had to take pictures for an English assignment. I took the pictures for her as she had to be in pictures that showed the library, the science building, a stadium, a dorm and one with a faculty member plus a few others. We had so much trouble trying to get her in the picture along with the name of a building which was way over her head and to have the name show up since the school had them done in a silvery color on a beige background for the most part. Anyhow, we got it done and then had loads of time (like 2.5 hours) to sit and wait for the little girls to get done with their seminar.
I pulled out my sketchbook I keep in my purse and painted a very stylized statue of Martin Luther. Later we heard the hours chime and I wonder if the statue isn't a bell! I also painted a bridge and sort-of stream that runs through the grounds. There was only a trickle of water going through but it is enough to support the animals and insects we saw around such as ducks, squirrels, bees and even a hummingbird. I didn't see the ducks till I'd finished painting my pic so didn't include them but my granddaughter saw the squirrel as I was finishing so I did quickly add it.
I certainly didn't make nice finished paintings here but only quick sketches. In fact, I only drew the statue from memory as we weren't sitting where I could see most of it and didn't figure on adding any background but once I started it just came together and I got the library that was behind the statue (again, sort-of, lol). The campus is really pretty and peaceful.
I woke up this morning at my son's house in Oceanside, California. I am here for a family get together. My nephew is moving from Ft. Benning, George to Hawaii and is stopping here for a couple of days. My sister who lives here is giving the party but I'll be taking some vegan chili and brownie pudding.
But back to today. My son took off for the beach to play volleyball but I thought it was too chilly so I stayed home. Later though,
Sambo and I went out and sat in the sunshine. It was nice and warm so I came in and got a cup of coffee and my skmetchbook. I drew some of the plants in my son's yard.
I should have been drawing birds for my lesson in Laure Ferlita's "Visit To, the Beach" but I figured I could do that when I had to come inside.
Note: This was actually for yesterday but I had trouble posting from my tablet. Drat it, the tablet just isn't quite replacing my laptop yet!
Hi everyone. I just wanted to share a postcard I received today from Dabs. She is an artist, blogger and half of a truck-driving team. She and her husband live in their truck so they can save up to retire in Alaska (no winters like that for me!) and while they rest between loads she paints and draws. Dabs blog is Postcards From the Road and I hope you'll take the time to visit and see what she's up to. Thanks so much Dabs. This postcard is just enough winter for me although I will say we saw some snowflakes as we drove to town a week ago - we had to look carefully though, lol.
I made this page today for all my friends and myself - for anyone who's been down and needing a reminder that springtime, whether mood related, weather related or health related, WILL come again. Hope it brightens your day a little bit!
I made this in an older journal that I made with business envelopes (you know, from when we had bills come in paper form to the house?) in a spiral binding. I don't recommend this paper even though it is recycling as it is lousy to work on. Once done with this journal I won't make another! But in the meantime, I occasionally make a page and today was one of those times. I used liquid acrylic for the background, cut-out daisies from a magazine (I don't get those anymore either although I am waiting for the mags to come up with an android version so I can get them on my Xoom), and marking pens for the decoration. I goofed and used a green pen that wasn't drying for the leaves. It turned out to be a pigment ink so I got out my clear embossing powder and took care of that problem.
Happy Sunday everyone!
Happy Valentine's Day everyone. Hope you all have a great day with someone you love!
My hubby and I made each other a valentine this year unbeknownst to each other. He says I walked in on him as he was working on mine (for which he has to use Windows XP version to access his old card generating program) and he startled me by walking in on me as I worked on mine but my back was to him so he didn't see what I was doing. He is taking me to lunch today to a Chinese buffet.
I didn't take a picture but the mountains around us got a dusting of snow last night while we got a little rain. Hopefully we got a quarter inch as my birdbath shows a little water in the bottom of it. We need it as we haven't had rain since November I think!
Sorry I didn't take the "how I did it" pics of my project. I simply forgot as I got into it. I started by pulling papers out of the drawer and then making some heart templates. THEN I came up with what I was going to make; it was not pre-planned. I am a bit too chaotic to do something planned out from the beginning, lol!
Sorry I've seemed to disappear from blogland! I got a bit down and wasn't doing much blog checking, art or anything at all really. Oh, I wasted a lot of time playing silly internet games where you really don't win but you can keep playing without thinking much and figure it is passing for living but finally you realize with the help of some friends that you really aren't living at all and it's time to wake up and smell the coffee!
So here is what I have done since my last post. Yes, it was a while ago and this is a pretty poor showing of items. I haven't even finished the Christmas page yet! I used real Christmas scraps for the background and added the annual family pic in front of the Christmas tree but have not added any titles, lists or commentary. Hopefully I'll feel like adding some soon.
A couple of weeks ago I got tired of chewing on my nails till they hurt so I went out and bought some new, fun polishes. First I wore the green and now I am wearing the pink. It really helps to keep me from chewing as the polish smooths the rough edges and feels silky and I don't want to chew the polish! I did have fun making the page and started to feel the funk I was in lessen a bit.
Now, the next two pics are the making of my husband's birthday card. I don't usually like the cards for sale and time is running out so I finally grabbed my paints and brushes and got busy. He loves pie over cake any day so he will be getting a cherry pie on his birthday and I figured why not put one on his card too? So I did. Boy was I rusty. I have blooms starting up because I didn't wait long enough for the "pie tin" to dry before doing the shadow and I had to hurry and blot the "cherries" as they were bleeding out into the crust. I set it aside to dry and went over it all again with the final result in the last picture here. Art requires constant practice if you want to keep your skills up, that's for sure!
Speaking of skills and practice, Laure Ferlita of Imaginary Trips fame is starting up this years schedule of classes with a visit to the beach. It starts soon so if you want to join in hurry and sign up!